Nichole and Leon Sargent own Southpaw Meat Market at 1233 Roosevelt Trail, Unit 2 in Raymond, formerly known as PrimeCut Meat Market, and offer fresh, frozen, and cured meats as well as poultry products and locally sourced items. They also have honey, cheeses, maple syrup, whoopie pies, and their own line of rubs and spices with many more items added weekly.
“The most significant aspect of our business is our knowledge of the industry and our relationships with our producers,” said Nichole Sargent. “We look to source quality products. We run a USDA facility and have carried over the standards of operation to Southpaw Meat Market.”
The shop opened in November and is a natural progression for the couple, who also own and operate the highly successful Windham Butcher Shop. Nichole Sargent’s background as a longtime human services provider and as an agricultural enthusiast, allow her to take an active leadership role for the business, while her husband, Leon Sargent, has more than 30 years of experience in the industry and his strong relationships with suppliers and producers have led to a meaningful understanding of the craft of butchering.
Their dedication to operational standards, cleanliness, and sound production practices are essential to the success of Southpaw Meat Market, the couple says.
“We are passionate about wanting to provide our customers with truly outstanding products and to incorporate local farmers and producers here in Maine as much as we can,” Nichole Sargent said. “We love educating our customers and sharing our knowledge with them.”
According to Sargent, Southpaw Meat Market will focus on quality and offering the finest cuts of meat.
“We will not try to compete with the big conglomerates as it is impossible in our industry to do so in this ‘pandemic world.’ I don’t see others as competitors, I see them as reinforcements,” she said. “In order for small businesses to be successful, we have to work together.
I have been advocating for businesses like ours to have better options to health care, mental health services and so much more, I am an advocate for collaboration. Don’t get me wrong, I am fierce and very competitive, however, I am also truly passionate about our industry, the future of farming and sustaining Maine’s small businesses, so we need to work together. We want to be the best, not the cheapest.”
Sargent said that Southpaw Meat Market works closely with Colt Knight, Assistant Extension and State Livestock Specialist Professor at the University of Maine’s Cooperative Extension Program.
“He has been a great asset to our other business, and we are already in the works to create an educational piece for the market,” she said. “We will offer choices and suggest options to our customers. We will be sharing recipes and have exciting plans for the market in the future.”
Because the previous owner was so successful, the transition has been tough for some customers, but Sargent said she and her husband believe if given an opportunity to earn their trust and business, customers will come to appreciate the quality and high standards that Southpaw Meat Market will achieve.
“The previous owner had a very successful business and did an amazing job, and her shoes will be hard to fill,” Sargent said. “Kindness goes a long way as we learn each of the customer’s needs, likes and personalities.”
She said Southpaw Meat Market’s biggest hurdles are finding skilled labor, some supply chain issues, and obtaining the inventory they need to fill the meat case for their customers.
“When we say, we can’t get it, it’s not that we don’t want your business, it’s that we know we cannot get what you are asking for,” she said. “We carefully source our products, and we keep our hand on the pulse of the protein industry.”
She said for Southpaw Meat Market to become successful, it will take a measure of collaboration and communication with customers.
“We believe in treating people with dignity and respect,” Sargent said. “It takes a community to have a successful business, and everyone has to work together. Our employees are learning and growing. We will have hiccups, but remember we are humans, not machines.”
For more information about Southpaw Meat Market, visit https://southpawpacking.com/ or call 207-655-2646 and look for their new website coming soon. <